Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Bowen Wells Mr Bowen Wells , Hertford and Stortford 8:15 pm, 4th March 1993

Many of us—including Labour Front-Bench spokesmen, the Government, and the vast majority of hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) and even, I believe, my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow)—have in common the desire to stay in Europe. That has been said on several occasions. If that is the case, we must develop Europe in a way that we believe is democratic and accountable, and which reflects the ideas and views of our constituents, and enables them to inform the decisions taken in Europe. We must build on the idea of the European Parliament and the national parliaments meeting together.

I suggest that that should not happen in the same way as when we first met in Rome. That brings me back to the question of Europe-wide parties. At the assize in Rome the representatives of national parliaments were broken up. The European Parliament took over the running of things, putting a motion to the assize, which was passed, that made us all sit in so-called Europe-wide parties, thus completely undermining the power of national parties.